\ ˈkrān How to pronounce crane (audio) \

Definition of crane

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : any of a family (Gruidae of the order Gruiformes) of tall wading birds superficially resembling the herons but structurally more nearly related to the rails
2 : any of several herons
3 : an often horizontal projection swinging about a vertical axis: such as
a : a machine for raising, shifting, and lowering heavy weights by means of a projecting swinging arm or with the hoisting apparatus supported on an overhead track
b : an iron arm in a fireplace for supporting kettles
c : a boom for holding a motion-picture or television camera


craned; craning

Definition of crane (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to raise or lift by or as if by a crane
2 : to stretch toward an object of attention craning her neck to get a better view

intransitive verb

1 : to stretch one's neck toward an object of attention I craned out of the window of my compartment— Webb Waldron


biographical name (1)
\ ˈkrān How to pronounce Crane (audio) \

Definition of Crane (Entry 3 of 5)

(Harold) Hart 1899–1932 American poet


biographical name (2)

Definition of Crane (Entry 4 of 5)

Stephen 1871–1900 American writer


biographical name (3)

Definition of Crane (Entry 5 of 5)

Walter 1845–1915 English artist

Illustration of crane

Illustration of crane


crane 1

In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms & Antonyms for crane

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of crane in a Sentence

Verb We craned our necks toward the stage. craned her head to see the roof
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Each segment will be hoisted by a crane and then lowered onto a barge for transport to a salvage yard on the Gulf Coast. Russ Bynum, Star Tribune, "Demolition starts on big ship stranded 14 months off Georgia," 6 Nov. 2020 It will be lifted by crane and positioned at the center of Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, "60-foot tall Christmas tree from Up North set to arrive in downtown Detroit," 3 Nov. 2020 Another portion of the monument was lifted away by a crane about 3:47 a.m. Paul Gattis |, al, "Confederate monument in Huntsville removed overnight," 23 Oct. 2020 The footage feels more like a camera on a crane, as opposed to a drone. Alex Kessler, Vogue, "“There’s Something So Beautiful About an Almost-Secret Fashion Show”—Erdem Breaks Down His Spring 2021 Collection," 21 Sep. 2020 Technicians will put straps beneath the train and use the crane to pull, easily moving the lightweight carriages, which are mostly aluminum. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How the F@!# Did This Giant Whale Tail Save a Derailed Train?," 2 Nov. 2020 The crane rose high above Abreu, capturing his spinning, splashing body from a bird’s-eye view. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "How New York City Ballet Took On the Pandemic," 29 Oct. 2020 After being released from the crane, the tethered craft will slowly sink to the seafloor between 2,000 and 5,000 feet below, and begin a treasure hunt for new kinds of compounds that could one day become medicines. Eric Niiler, Wired, "These Oceanographers Want to Turn Marine Slime Into Drugs," 27 Oct. 2020 As her mother's coffin hung in midair and workers struggled to fix the crane, Terry Chiodi returned to visit her father in the niche in which he had been entombed a few days earlier. NBC News, "Their story touched a pope: Retired Italian couple buried together after dying of Covid-19," 17 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While it was not immediately cited as a factor in the accident, the intersection is a difficult one for westbound traffic to clear, forcing drivers at the stop sign to crane their necks sharply to the left to watch for northbound traffic. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Police ID the Waukesha woman who died over the weekend in a car crash in New Berlin," 4 Aug. 2020 Garcia continued to crane his head and talk to the deputy, until Khodr grabbed him by the nape of his neck and forced Garcia to look straight ahead. Thalia Beaty, ProPublica, "Somebody’s Gotta Help Me”," 16 June 2020 On his last evening in Japan, when an Airbus flew over the neighbourhood, a thousand heads craned in awe to see it. The Economist, "Banyan Asian countries try to build travel “bubbles”," 28 May 2020 The Professor is always silent, so much so that several times during the weeks after the incident with the fallen cigar, Günter cranes his head around on the couch to make sure that Freud is still there and awake. Stephen O’connor, Harper's Magazine, "The Interpretation of Dreams," 27 Apr. 2020 Capri, dressed in a yellow jumpsuit with his hands cuffed in front of his body, sat at the defense table, craning his head around to see past lawyers and U.S. marshals. Robert Anglen, azcentral, "Federal judge closes Arizona courtroom during ex-mobster Frank Capri's detention hearing," 18 Feb. 2020 How it’s installed: Choose shape, size, and features, then watch it get craned into your backyard. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know Before Getting a Pool," 20 Apr. 2020 At a nearby church, roughly a hundred residents — ranging from children to the elderly — squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder and craned over a folding table to shake Trump’s hand. USA Today, "Golf, handshakes and a Mar-a-Lago conga line: Squandered week highlights Trump’s lack of COVID-19 focus," 10 Apr. 2020 The Professor is always silent, so much so that several times during the weeks after the incident with the fallen cigar, Günter cranes his head around on the couch to make sure that Freud is still there and awake. Stephen O’connor, Harper's magazine, "The Interpretation of Dreams," 20 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crane


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1570, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for crane


Middle English cran, from Old English; akin to Old High German krano crane, Greek geranos, Latin grus

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Time Traveler for crane

Time Traveler

The first known use of crane was before the 12th century

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Statistics for crane

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for crane


How to pronounce Crane (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a big machine with a long arm that is used by builders for lifting and moving heavy things
: a type of tall bird that has a long neck and long legs and lives near water



English Language Learners Definition of crane (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stretch out (your neck) in order to see better


\ ˈkrān How to pronounce crane (audio) \

Kids Definition of crane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large tall wading bird with a long neck, bill, and legs
2 : a machine with a swinging arm for lifting and carrying heavy weights


craned; craning

Kids Definition of crane (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stretch the neck to see better Neighbors craned out the window to see the parade.

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